When planting a fall garden, you can respond to the ‘gardening bug’ much further into the season.
When the weather opens up in spring, the gardening bug begins to nibble more. That bug has been buzzing us since the first seed/flower catalogs began showing up in the mail box around January. Depending upon your location, the effects from getting the ‘gardening bug’ can be strong between March and June.
Then, warmer weather, with a dash of humidity and smatter of WEEDS, takes a little of the gardening bug shine away! Early produce such as greens, radishes, little onions provide some relief until the later plants begin to deliver their bounty.
Too soon, the vines are ugly and pretty much over…Hello, August. But, is the garden truly over?
Can we get more production and maintain stable sustainability with an extended season?
Gardens’ Second Season—Planting a fall garden
Fall gardens are a great option to stretch the productivity of your garden. Finished vines and plants can be replaced with new ones. The seeds go directly into the ground during hot, dry weather that doesn’t promise much. But, by the time they germinated, the autumn rains have begun and the weather has become milder. There is another round of robust plants which enjoy cooler nights with some blazing summer sun.
How Does Fall Gardening Work?
Some of the conditions in late summer and autumn would seem to be against a second growing season. Days are shorter. Rain often begins and can continue with lower temperatures and clouds to hinder sunshine hungry plants. Many plants prefer good light to direct, longtime, ‘frying’ sunshine.
The soil and general climate is warm, even though the days are short and the rain chilly.
Many plants that are planted in spring mature quickly when the hot weather comes. Or they shut down and don’t do much when the temperatures reach 100 degrees. Small root crops such as beets, radishes, potatoes and turnips do well. Spinach, loose leaf lettuce and other greens function better with cooler days. Beans, green and yellow, respond well to the cooler weather.
Second season growers can help their garden by choosing seeds that have shorter maturity times.
My husband’s advice for my gardens reflect his grandmother’s garden ways. She faithfully planted her fall garden seeds in the ground during the last week of July in northern Indiana. I found that works in Southwestern Missouri. Planting a fall garden with direct seeding, feeding and watering is a tried and true way to work.
Extenders or Not
Planting a fall garden can begin with starting seeds indoors during the hot weather, just as we do in early spring can give some cold crop varieties a boost. Cabbages and broccoli are favorites that come to mind. They tend to respond well to being started away from the garden while other plants such as greens are more difficult to pre-start.
If you are set up to provide some hoop protection, either with row covers or a larger hoop style green house over your rows, you can extend the season even more.
A special Fall Garden e-Book through Ultimate Bundles
The best way to figure something out for our own gardens is to follow someone! When I saw “Homestead Honey’s Guide to Fall Gardening” on the list of The Ultimate Garden and Sustainable Living Bundle, I knew I had something great!
Teri Page’s 35 page eBook is full of tips and guidelines for the fall garden! One little thing well worth the price of the entire gardening bundle if I didn’t use anything else! Plus, she’s included several printable pages to help other gardeners plan.
You can get your copy of Homestead Honey’s Guide to Fall Gardening immediately upon your purchase.
All of the other items in the Ultimate Garden and Sustainable Living Bundle will give you more information for your gardening and homesteading plans. While I’m excited about prospect of fall gardening this time, there is a large amount of information in the bundle. Information about intensive gardening, canning and preserving, working with worms is there, just to name a few.
Fall is almost here, but it isn’t too late to get a second season. And figure out how to stretch the seasons even more for the future.